ASPI Report: Cultural Erasure

Roughly 8,450 mosques (±4%) destroyed across Xinjiang, and a further estimated 7,550 mosques (±3.95%) have been damaged or ‘rectified’ to remove Islamic-style architecture and symbols. Cultural destruction often masquerades as restoration or renovation work in Xinjiang. Despite repeated claims that Xinjiang has more than 24,000 mosques and that the Chinese Government is ‘committed to protecting its citizens’ freedom of religious belief while respecting and protecting religious cultures’ we estimate that there are currently fewer than 15,500 mosques in Xinjiang (including more than 7,500 that have been damaged to some extent). This is the lowest number since the Cultural Revolution, when fewer than 3,000 mosques remained


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